Liam Dawson will be going all out to impress the coaches during his stint with the England Performance Programme as he chases his call for the Lions.
The Hampshire all-rounder’s Ageas Bowl career looked to be at a crossroads during last season when he was allowed to join Essex on loan after finding himself surplus to requirements.
But he was quickly recalled and then showed his importance to the side as they stayed up in County Championship division one with a remarkable late run.
His performances clearly caught the eye of the England selectors and Dawson has now jetted out to Dubai for a training camp ahead of the Lions’ five t20 matches against Pakistan, which will be skippered by Hampshire team-mate James Vince.
And Dawson is determined to show his ability to the coaches – which include Daniel Vettori, Graham Thorpe and Andy Flower – to ensure he forces his way into their plans.
Dawson said: ‘It’s a massive opportunity for me.
‘The chance of playing for England Lions is a huge stepping stone in your career so that’s my main aim.
‘I was a bit surprised when I got the call. I was on holiday at the time so it was a bit of a shock when I got the call from James Whitaker.
‘But it’s a great opportunity to work with some top coaches.
‘To even be able to speak to someone like Vettori will be really interesting because he was such a good bowler for New Zealand.
‘It will be exciting to learn from someone like that but Andy Flower and Graham Thorpe will be out there as well.
‘They all have so much experience of international cricket.
‘You can only improve when you get to work with these sorts of people.
‘It’s a three-week training camp and then the t20s start for the Lions against Pakistan.
‘There are five games and then there is a 50-over series in January as well.
‘I’m not sure whether I will be involved at the minute but I will try to prove myself while I’m out there.
‘It will depend on injuries and a few things like that but it’s down to me to impress.
‘But Vincey is skipper so hopefully he might be able to put in a word for me as well!’
Dawson admits his Lions call seemed a long way off last season.
He said: ‘It shows how quickly things can turn around.
‘I was very disappointed to only play two t20 games for Hampshire last season.
‘I bowled quite well in the Championship but I probably didn’t score enough runs to warrant my place in the team so it’s my own fault as well.
‘When I came back, I would like to think I showed how valuable I am with both bat and ball.’